Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: The Hollow of Mont Noir by Jennifer Krey

Seventeen-year-old Allison Spencer thought her life was completely normal - or as normal as it could be for an animal empath known as "Crazy Animal Girl." But when her older brother disappeared and her parents moved the family 400 miles away to try to find some answers, she discovered friendship and love in a supernatural world she never knew existed and learned some shocking truths about herself and her family.

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Indie
Rating:  * * *

My Review:

The Hollow of Mont Noir has a creative and intriguing premise.  I loved the addition of an animal empath to the story's other supernatural element (of which I'm purposefully vague to avoid spoiling).  Though a bit predictable in moments, I enjoyed how the story unfolded with mystery of Riordan's secrets and Allison's brother's disappearance.  The story had a slow and steady pace and I was kept interested throughout.  

The story is told in first person from Allison's point of view.  I liked experiencing the story through Allison.  She is mature and strong, gracefully dealing with both big problems like her missing brother and the normal high school drama of mean girls and lost friendships.  While I liked Allison, I missed the dynamic element of character growth in the plot.  I also felt that the book did not have a YA voice.  It's very much an adult telling the story and I was disappointed in that.  

Riordan, our hero, was a great character I enjoyed getting to know.  I loved the creativity that went into building his world, though I had trouble buying why he was sent to Mont Noir and the lack of communication with his parents.

The other characters in the book are equally likable.  I appreciated the focus on Allison's parents, their relationship and how their son's disappearance affected them.  Their relationship was really well done.  Even smaller characters, like the gym teacher, were given background stories.  I didn't like the addition of Allison's ex-boyfriend and former best friend's "situation" at the end.  It seemed to say "bad things happen to bad people" and felt spiteful.  Hopefully that "situation" (sorry, trying not to spoil!!!) comes into play in book #2 and wasn't as nonsensical as it seemed.

The Hollow of Mont Noir was an enjoyable read.  I did feel the author tended to tell rather than show the reader what was happening.  This slowed down the pace and gave us a more passive heroine.  Regardless, I had fun reading this book and will continue with the series when the next book comes out.

Cover Art:
This cover has great beginnings, but could benefit from some tweaking.  I love the individual elements, but would suggest each be enlarged. 

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